Five Maryland public schools, including Eastern Technical High in Baltimore County and Ellicott Mills Middle School in Howard County, were named National Blue Ribbon schools this morning. Two Catholic schools also were named.

The designation recognizes schools that have consistently high achievement or have improved dramatically. "This is one of the nation's most significant awards presented to public schools," state superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick said in a statement. The three other schools in the state are: Northern Middle School in Calvert County, New Market Elementary School in Frederick County and Northwestern Elementary School in Wicomico County.

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The Catholic Schools were St. Louis in Clarksville and St. John the Baptist in Silver Spring.

Eastern Tech has maintained a record of high achievement over a decade, according to the state. It's High School Assessment scores were 99.7 percent in reading and 100 percent in math in 2009. About 20 percent of its students are economically disadvantaged.

Ellicott Mills also has a high percentage of students scoring well on the Maryland School Assessments, has high parent involvement and a record of outstanding music programs, according to the state.

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